Shamrock Shakes back on the scene

About caused a high-speed pile-up yesterday while rubbernecking in disbelief. But make no mistake. The yellow sign outside the McDonald's on Highway 55 advertised the arrival of, correct us if we're wrong, perhaps the only St. Patrick's Day-specific sweet. Can't we at least get Valentine M&Ms off the shelves first? Yes, it may only be second week of February, but McDonald's Shamrock Shakes are back.

According to a website seemingly dedicated to the minty, part Ectoplasm, part Easter sweater shakes there haven't yet been any other Minnesota Shamrock "sightings" yet this season. We can sort of appreciate the nostalgia the shake induces. Who doesn't still harbor a little something for Personal Pan Pizzas, after all? There's also some kitsch value to them, kinda like how it's almost cool to get a gas station Polish sausage. However, we remain wary.

Burger King perfume: still alive, still kicking


Piers Morgan (who totally looks like the love child of David Brent and Simon Cowell but is really just some British tabloid publisher slash television show host who has no shame) is baring it all -- or, rather, most of it all -- for Burger King's new-ish fragrance (yes, fragrance) "Flame." Hot Dish reported on the burger behemoth's advancement into the scent scene last December, noting Serious Eats' evaluation of "Flame" as smelling like "a truckstop bathroom air freshener," "Lincoln logs," and "a hetero man trying to be even more hetero." And here we are, six months later. "Flame" remains undoused. The billboard ads will reportedly be on display in London only. Don't miss the "making of" vid.

How Stuff Works breaks down top 10 fast food ingredients

Christian Cable/Flickr

Just when you think you've gotten enough distance from the latest "Fast Food Nation" or "Super Size Me" terror to have an Egg McMuffin in memory loss-induced peace -- * slam * -- there's some new exposé on the parts per million of rat feces contained in the average canned good or a news special detailing how many different cows might potentially be ground up into the hamburger meat you just bought, and you're back to limp, horrified Square One, huddled over the stove with your millet. Are you ready for the latest dose of reality? (Thanks a lot, Consumerist.)

How Stuff Works walks us through the "Top 10 Most Common Ingredients in Fast Food," and guess what, only one of them is what could likely be identified by your average Jaywalking contestant as actual food. Soybean oil and salt may be arguable, but the only legitimate, real, food in the top ten is chicken. Not even our abiding love for french fries allowed potatoes to break in to the top. Xanthan gum, anyone? Diglycerides? By the way, if you don't already know, How Stuff Works is a pretty cool site in general, with lots of useful information side-by-side with zany, unlikely stuff. Oh, and plenty of tame stuff too for those days you need to live in a bubble.

I Can't Believe It's Not Paint Thinner Vol. 21

In anticipation of the Jewish Festival of Lights (Dec. 21-29 this year), we're sipping cherry flavored Manischewitz. Their Web site says that kosher wines are under the supervision of rabbis "from crushing to bottling," but it also notes that the variety we are drinking doesn't actually come from grapes. It's made using berry concentrate instead, which requires a different blessing to be said over the wine.  And we're comparing it to Mogen David, another popular kosher wine.
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I Can't Believe It's Not Paint Thinner Vol. 20

Bols, according to it corporate Web site, is the oldest Dutch company still kicking. Founded in 1575, focuses its efforts on making a rainbow of colored liqueurs and hard liquors in bowling pin-shaped, ribbed bottles. All of the mixed drinks I could find that call for blackberry brandy require a lot of stuff we don't have. So, I guess we're drinking it straight.

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I Can't Believe It's Not Paint Thinner: Christian Brothers Cream Sherry

Like champagne, sherry refers to the region of production, or at least it did many years ago. Originally a fortified wine from Jerez, Spain, "sherry" is actually a bastardization of the town’s name. But rest assured, we will not be drinking the "champagne of sherry" today.

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I Can't Believe It's Not Paint Thinner Vol. 18

The label on the bottle of RonDiaz (all one word, mind you) tells the "legend" of a man named Ron Diaz (two words). Diaz is said to have travel the Caribbean in scoping out ingredients to make the best rum ever. Hmmm... Not sure I'm believing that tall tale, but we'll drink his 27.5 percent alcohol by volume rum anyway.

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I Can't Believe It's Not Paint Thinner Vol. 17

I knew I had made the right choice for ICBINPT this week when as I drove away from the liquor store, I saw an empty bottle on the street corner. Mickey's, which comes in big bottles or ever-so-cute squat green 12 oz bottles, wins the award for most self-promoting on the Web. While several beverages we've consumed have been their parent company's shame (some weren't even acknowledged on their producers' Web sites), Mickey's has a snazzy homepage with video and flash animation all of the place. It's nice to see an embarrassingly cheap liquor take pride in itself. It's also destined to be the homepage of frat brahs around the nation. Click around and you'll find pranks labeled 'what not to do' (Put smelly cheese in your roommate's heating vents so he'll never be with a woman!), a section called 'where not to drink' with fan-submitted pictures of Mickey's bottles in places where malt liquor should not be enjoyed (libraries, parks, etc.), along with videos and downloads. But will the best Web site translate into the best paint thinner?

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I Can't Believe It's Not Paint Thinner: Red Headed Blast

DeKuyper knows how to call a spade a spade. Their website proudly proclaims their many lines of liqueurs to be colorful and fruity. Never head of them? DeKuyper, an offshoot of Jim Beam Brands Co., is responsible for Puckers, the sweet and sour, maple syrup–like drink favored by 13–year old girls drinking in a bathroom stall of a school dance. They also make a variety of schnapps and flavored brandy.

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I Can't Believe It's Not Paint Thinner Vol. 15

Mother schnapps comes in many bizarre flavors including caramel apple and melon ball. We're trying the root beer variety. Its colorful and reflective label reminiscent of a Lisa Frank folder was just too appealing to pass up. But what to put root beer schnapps in? There are actually quite a few recipes that call for the cordial. They have names such as 'brown poo' and 'beer nuts.' We don't actually have any of the ingredients for the drinks, or even the more common root beer barrel (put a shot of schnapps in a beer; drink beer.). So it looks like we'll be sipping it straight.

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